I was recently asked to sum up our success and significant upturn in performance in an email and found it almost impossible. However In 2012 Edinburgh won the Bookseller Library Service of the Year Award and I think this sums up our success pretty well. The award was launched to recognise library services which are thriving and innovating in a difficult climate and increasing access and performance.
Edinburgh was considered against a range of libraries across the UK. Judges identified our key strengths as:
* Range of services for hard to reach readers
* A cutting edge website and Library App
* Engaging social media activity
* Committed support from the local authority.
Judges concluded that Edinburgh Libraries & Information Services are “innovative on so many fronts, full of energy, bang up to date and unafraid of the future”. Providing “a template for libraries everywhere to be inspired by.”
This is the third national libraries award won by the city’s library service in two years. In July 2010, the service was successful in winning the Libraries Change Lives Award from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals for HMP Edinburgh Library Partnership (Saughton Prison).
This was followed in 2011 with the ‘Whose Town’ Project achieving the Scottish Design Awards Chairman’s Award.
Key to any success is the fantastic teamwork and innovative thinking in our staff. It is the power to drive and embrace change
If you would like to know more we are hosting our annual EDGE 2013 conference 28th February – 1st March and we would be delighted to put some flesh on the bones of this short summary
Call for Award entries for EDGE2013 – Pushing the boundaries of public service delivery
Is your project good enough?
Edinburgh 28th February – 1st March 2013
EDGE 2013 highlights and rewards good practice in innovative library and information projects which:
Show or sell benefits of library and information services to other sectors, organisations and communities
Demonstrate innovation and creativity
The purpose of the awards is to recognise positive achievements and promote outstanding library based initiatives which celebrate the value of libraries.
We don’t want the process to be cumbersome so we are asking for some brief details which will be followed up with a phone interview.
We are looking for cutting-edge innovative projects around developments in the following categories;
There will be 3 awards for innovation (The winners for each category will receive the EDGE 2012 trophy, no financial reward) which will follow the format of the conference
1. Physical – buildings, layout, targeted spaces.
2. Virtual – Websites, apps, virtual library, digitisation
3. Social – Work involving communities or target groups, engagement or making a difference CLOSING DATE – 31st January 2013 The awards are open to global applications – Finalists will be offered 1 free place at the 2 day conference & Gala Dinner.
It puts the needs of users at the heart of services. We know online services mean that we can access information when we require it, pay a bill or even arrange social care in a simple and quick way. The strategy outlines how different organisations can join up across all sectors to deliver services in a more responsive way.
So where is our library and information leadership? This is our opportunity to put forward a business case for libraries now and in the future Who is going to keep people skilled up? Who will people trust to access much of this?
I believe the future of libraries is in driving and underpinning this strategy and making it a reality for real people.
Our WW1 History Hub opened yesterday and will gather and collate information on the history of Scotland’s contribution to the 1914-18 conflict that cost 16 million lives, including more than 140,000 Scots.
You are invited to look around and share the stories.
An area of Edinburgh’s Central Library underwent a remarkable transformation into a First World War trench area, complete with mock images of walls, barbed wire and sandbags.
Examples of real ammunition, a soldier’s helmet, toys, clothes and other artefacts from the Great War are also on display.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced “It will also change the way that we live – from the way we book holidays to the way we access health care. We are committed to ensuring that all of Scotland is able to reap the social and cultural benefits of the internet.
“Broadband, just like roads and railways, is a vital part of Scotland’s infrastructure, and that is why we are committed to delivering a world class digital infrastructure to the people of Scotland by 2020.”
“ A digital Scotland to me is a concept that has to be central to our future. As a small country with huge intellectual capacity, digital media and digital technology have to be right at the core of everything we do going forward.”
Edinburgh’s libraries can support everyone with the information, skills, access to content and opportunities to get on board and benefit from Scotland’s bright future
Pushing the boundaries of public service delivery – Thursday 28th February & Friday 1st March 2013
EDGE2013 provides many opportunities to learn from and meet with speakers, decision makers and other practitioners leading the transformation agenda. These are the change managers, thought leaders, and many movers and shakers in libraries and information services, shared services, content management, engagement and regeneration.
Invest in your organisation, the future, and yourself by attending the fourth EDGE conference in one of the most beautiful capital cities in the world, Edinburgh!
We increasingly function in a world of e-resources, developing virtual tools and collaborative communities. Opportunities abound and the economic value of producing locally generated, user-generated content will be even more crucial in the future.
In transforming our service for the 21st century we identified an audience that never enters a library, those who prefer “The Virtual Library”. This service is also essential to traditional library users who have experience and expectations of sites like Amazon and other personalised information electronic services. This is key to our strategy not only to transform Edinburgh City Libraries but to ensure that our transformation is apparent to our residents and users across the city.
The Virtual Library has been developed to give one access point for all Edinburgh City Libraries online services. It is the first of its kind in the UK an example of best practice that can be replicated by other services. It has raised the awareness of the e-delivery of information and services amongst our customers and has led to an increase in usage. It has offered free promotion of our services to an audience we cannot reach in the traditional manner. Free promotion and marketing replacing expensive paper based materials at a time of shrinking budgets
We have been extending service provision for citizens and engaging with the wider community through innovative use of electronic services and applications (Apps) for mobile devices. Our work in mobile devices is best seen in the context of our wide-ranging social media and digital communication strategy.
The first of its kind for a Scottish public library, the Edinburgh Library app has up to date information about library events, activities, and service updates that are usually only available on the library website. The app also includes Bus Tracker, First Bus timetable information, and additional content from Edinburgh City Libraries.
The app is available on the iStore and for Android users. You can also download the app by scanning the QR (quick response code) into your camera phone
In Edinburgh, Libraries and Information services have demonstrated an innovative contribution to the city’s electronic information, technology at the same time as improving access and quality of service.
Edinburgh’s Libraries are not only about books, learning and formal information provision, they are about healthy communication networks and well informed neighbourhoods.